The International Apparel Federation (IAF) has appointed Han Bekke, the chairman of Dutch apparel association MODINT, as its new president. 

Bekke takes over from Rahul Mehta, chairman of the Clothing Manufacturers Association of India, who has held the position since 2014. The decision was taken at the general assembly of IAF as part of its 32nd IAF World Fashion Convention taking place in Mumbai, India, this week.

With a long career in the Dutch and international fashion and textile industry, Bekke has held a number of different management positions. Since 2013 he has been chairman of the Dutch Trade Association for Fashion and (Interior) Textiles MODINT, and from 2006 to 2014 was secretary general of the IAF, becoming a board member in 2014.

A number of industry leaders were also nominated to the board this week. Ed Gribbin, president of Alvanon was elected treasurer, Jiang Hui, chairman of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce for Textiles and Clothing was elected executive committee member, while the BGMEA's Faruque Hassan and Les Miller, CEO of American & Efird, were appointed board members. 

The first day of the Convention kicked off with an audience of around 250 Indian apparel brands and manufacturers, and industry representatives from around 20 countries. Opened by Mehta, the theme of the convention – Insights into new Opportunities – carried four sessions covering topics from sourcing and supply chain management to trade policy, technology, and retailing in India. 

With total global retail sales expected to grow from US$1.7trn to $2.6trn in 2025, the consensus is that insight and actions are required if brands want to profit from this growth. 

Opportunities highlighted on the first day included the Free Trade Agreement between India and the EU, lower costs through better cooperation between buyers and suppliers, opportunities in countries such as Africa and Russia, the "dizzying growth" of the market in India, and the disruptive power offered by robotics and computing technologies.